Save the Children to Provide Education Support for Children in Most Affected Areas
Negin Janati 203.212.0044 (M)
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 20, 2016) – Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by Typhoon Haima which tore through the Philippines overnight, with reports of widespread devastation including flattened homes, damaged schools and toppled trees.
With winds gusting at up to 200 miles per hour, Haima was the most powerful storm to enter the Philippines’ territory since Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 7,000 people. However, thankfully Typhoon Haima weakened from a category 5 storm to category 4 just before making landfall, and is now tracking west towards Hong Kong and mainland China.
"Certainly tens of thousands of homes have been damaged," said Ned Olney, Save the Children Country Director in the Philippines. "Families have been displaced and we are concerned about the safety and protection of children during this time. Children are always most vulnerable during a crisis like this. We are working with the local and national authorities to identify the families and areas with the greatest needs."
More than 90,000 people in Luzon were evacuated before the storm struck, and at least seven regions suspended all school classes. Currently, 92 schools are being used as evacuation centers, and there have been reports of widespread power outages and impassable roads.
Save the Children teams are en route to the worst affected areas to assess the damage, and will provide whatever assistance is required.
"We need to be on the lookout for secondary impacts. With dams releasing water, we anticipate flooding not only in areas centrally hit by the typhoon, but also in low-lying areas of northern and central Luzon," Mr. Olney said.
"At this stage it looks like the government will be able to meet the immediate needs of those impacted by the typhoon, and so it’s likely we will provide vital education support to help children get back to school as quickly as possible.
"The classroom is commonly the best place for children after experiencing a distressing event like a typhoon as it’s a safe space to see their friends and teachers and to regain a sense of normality. The sooner children can get back to class the better."
Save the Children has a long history responding to disasters in the Philippines, including typhoons Koppu in 2015, Hagupit in 2014 and Haiyan in 2013.
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